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Look Who's Talking

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Look Who’s Talking was the big ”sleeper” hit of 1989. To everyone’s surprise, this limp comedy racked up $130 million at the box office and is credited with resuscitating the careers of John Travolta and director Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) β€” not to mention adding a reported $10 million to Bruce Willis’ bank account for a few voice-overs.

How did it all happen? Look Who’s Talking is an amiable little comedy β€” one that never rises much above pleasant but never sinks much below it either. It’s the sort of inoffensive film that generates positive word of mouth because it’s ”cute.”

As for the plot, there is less here than in an average sitcom. Kirstie Alley, an unmarried accountant, discovers that she’s pregnant at the same time that her married lover discovers he’s in love with his interior decorator. Alley meets Travolta and the rest of the movie is a lot of time killing until they wind up in each other’s arms.

But then there’s the gimmick. Alley’s baby talks β€” that is, Bruce Willis supplies a voice to comment on the action. This isn’t used to maximum effect, but watching the baby do things in that unself-conscious baby way while Willis wisecracks gives the picture its silly kick. Does it explain why this was one of the biggest hits of the year? Not entirely, but there is just no disputing taste. B-